Who doesn’t like an open plan with free-flowing spaces, uninterrupted airflow and, most importantly, the diffused natural light pouring into every corner of the space? The problem with open plans, though, is that they’re often impractical and require a fair bit of taming. We need dividers and partitions to manage the space, to create some privacy, to steer foot traffic, to store things, and for all those practical reasons.
It’s sort of a catch-22 situation here. The very partitions and dividers that help make your open plan more useful also cast a dark shadow on the beloved natural light, making spaces feel sequestered and disjoint. But the question is – must they really? There sure must be a way to get the best of both worlds, right?
Indeed there is! Even though it’s a tricky problem, it’s nothing some interior design magic cannot resolve. With the right materials and some clever room divider and partition designs, we can find that balance between space division and natural lighting. After all, natural lighting is just too precious to compromise!
Importance of Natural Lighting in A Space
The bane of the urban life is that we’re, more often than not, stuck in tiny matchbox spaces that have little to no natural light. While building design is usually beyond our control, we must do our best to maximize whatever natural light we get because it comes with several benefits, some of which include:
Personal experience will surely make this point obvious, for we’ve all felt better - more alive and happier - in naturally lit spaces. Studies have also shown that natural lighting can have a positive impact on energy levels, mood, sleep patterns, and the general physical and mental well-being of the occupants of any space – whether it’s an office, or a residence.
Naturally lit spaces look and feel a lot more warm and inviting than artificially lit spaces. Ever noticed how all of those beautiful and attractive magazine images of spaces are usually flooded with plenty of natural light? Natural light just has a way of making spaces look more aesthetically pleasing. It also makes colors and other interior design elements pop out to create that delightful experience.
It only makes sense that by improving space quality and mental health, natural lighting also increases the creativity and productivity of occupants of a space.
When you rely more on natural light to illuminate a space, you naturally rely less on energy-consuming artificial lighting. This gives you energy savings that not only reflects in the bills but also enables you to be more environmentally responsible!
9 Room Dividers to Divide a Space Without Blocking Out the Light
Given its many advantages, here are 9 ways to maximize the natural lighting in your space whilst dividing it for all those practical benefits.
1. Glass dividers
When we talk about unobstructed light, transparent glass partitions are quick to come to mind, and for good reasons. They allow you to physically divide spaces for better management and circulation without blocking out any of the natural light coming through the openings. Plus, they can be really thin, which means you give up a minimum of that expensive real estate to space division.
2. Polycarbonate dividers
The problem with most light-friendly dividers is that along with unobstructed light, they also bring an obstructed view. While this is great in most open plans, you will agree that sometimes, you just need some degree of privacy too.
That’s where polycarbonate dividers come in handy. They’re translucent, so they let the light diffuse through while also giving you the physical and visual divide you need. Bonus points if your polycarbonate divider is also portable and if it can be put up and removed within minutes.
3. Open-shelved bookcase/showcase
An open bookcase can do wonders for a space by dividing it ever-so-lightly, it won’t look like a partition at all! Plus, it lets you put up your favorite books and figurines and gives you that precious storage space. All this without blocking that natural illumination and making the space feel small and confined!
4. Solid modular partition walls with windows
Sometimes, your space needs some solid division, quite literally. You just need your partitions to divide your space into separate rooms as real walls do.
The good news is, you can do this without getting a contractor involved! This L-shaped partition wall can be built with nothing but a screwdriver and a couple of hours of DIY fun. To allow some degree of natural light to flow through the spaces, add doors and windows and stop the partitions short of the ceiling.
5. Timber slats
Timber slats arranged horizontally, vertically, or diagonally can serve as a light and airy room divider that works as a physical divide but lets the natural light filter through. They’re a great way of complimenting modern décor, helping you manage an open-plan space while also providing an interesting aesthetic feature.
6. Perforated dividers
These are screens usually made of sheets of stainless steel, GI, aluminum, copper, refractory metals, or even plastic, that have different shapes of holes punched in them to allow light to pass through. They not only divide the space lightly but can also serve as bold aesthetic elements to give your space definition - making them excellent options for room division.
For example, consider this Abstract Room Divider. Its interlocking aluminum frame and lightweight perforated panels create that space separation while letting the light through. But that’s not all - its unique, artistic, and bold aesthetic is also bound to attract attention and complement any modern decor.
7. Macramé curtains
If you’re after a super-light and unobtrusive divider to go with your artistic, boho-themed interiors, consider a hand-woven macramé curtain divider. It’ll create that desirable physical divide but only so subtly, it won’t feel like a divider at all.
8. Pony walls
Sometimes, you need your dividers to serve as mere boundaries that demarcate functions and orchestrate physical movement through a space. If that’s the case, why not use pony or half-walls and let the light flow through? For a neat-looking DIY option that suits just any modern aesthetic, consider this 4’-high Pony Wall Room Divider that you can assemble within a couple of hours.
9. Plants as dividers
For a dynamic, organic vibe that adds a natural and free spirit to your space, you can also simply use plants as dividers! Plants can create that sense of space demarcation while not only letting the natural light through, but also making the space feel more open and airy.
Tips for Maximizing Natural Lighting With Dividers
Whatever the type of light-friendly divider you’re going for, we’ve put together some expert tips that’ll help you maximize the natural lighting even with all the space division
Use light/bright colored partitions
We’re all aware that light and bright colored surfaces reflect more light, making a space feel larger and airier. The same rule applies to partition walls as well. Go for whites and yellows and avoid dark browns, grays, and blacks for maximum natural light diffusion.
Position your dividers optimally
Place your dividers perpendicular, not parallel, to your doors and windows to block them as little as possible. You might have to revisit your space arrangement and align your other furniture accordingly, but it should be worth the extra effort.
Use mirrors and reflective surfaces
It might also be a good idea to consider room dividers made of shiny or mirror surfaces that reflect the natural light to help make your space look larger and brighter.
Consider your window treatments
If you want to maximize the natural lighting in your space, it’s crucial that you maximize the amount of light entering it through the openings. Avoid heavy curtains and blinds that can block out the light, and opt for sheer curtains or light-filtering blinds instead.
Divide Your Space Without Subtracting The Light
Yes, while it’s crucial to divide up spaces to make them more functional, it doesn’t mean you isolate them into confined niches and oppressive matchboxes! All you need are some simple design measures and light-friendly dividers to let that natural light in and spread it far and deep within your space.
Looking for room dividers and partition walls that play well with natural light? Contact us! We have just the solutions you’re looking for.